04 Dec 2005
Waiting in the Wings, Singing to Themselves
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
By ANNE MIDGETTE [NY Times, 4 December 2005]
IN 1941, Astrid Varnay, then 23, jumped in on a few hours' notice for an ailing Lotte Lehmann as Sieglinde in "Die Walküre" at the Metropolitan Opera; it was the start of a long and illustrious international career. In 1944, Regina Resnik, 22, was thrust onto the Met stage as Leonora in "Il Trovatore" when Zinka Milanov got sick; Ms. Resnik remained an operatic fixture for decades. In 2002, Salvatore Licitra, at 33, replaced Luciano Pavarotti at the 11th hour in a long-planned "Tosca" at the Met and gave patrons who had paid as much as $1,800 a ticket something to cheer about; Sony Classical rushed out a solo recording.